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Ukraine emergency


Ukraine emergency

In response to the massive humanitarian crisis caused by the ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, UNHCR is working with national authorities, UN agencies, displaced communities and local and international partners to provide urgently needed assistance. 

Our teams are present inside Ukraine, in neighbouring countries and beyond to protect and assist people forced to flee.
Anzhela (24) holds her little niece Liliya (4) as they wait to receive warm clothes and blankets.

Donors – governments, business, and private individuals – have been incredibly generous over the past year. This must be sustained if we are to provide people with the support they urgently need today and for the coming year. I hope all our donors will continue to enable the response to these humanitarian needs."

– Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

What is happening in Ukraine?

The massive escalation in the Russian war against Ukraine since February 2022 has caused unprecedented civilian casualties and the destruction of vital infrastructure, forcing millions of people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance. Millions of refugees from Ukraine have crossed borders into neighbouring countries, in addition to those displaced inside the country. They are in urgent need of protection and support.  

Over 14.6 million people in Ukraine – 40 per cent of Ukraine's total population – require urgent humanitarian support, including more than 3.5 million people internally displaced by the full-scale war. As of June 2024, some 6.5 million refugees from Ukraine were recorded globally. 

The security situation continues to be extremely precarious, especially following a rise in hostilities in Kharkiv region, northeastern Ukraine, since May 2024, which caused a further spike in humanitarian needs and internal forced displacement. 

Ukraine has seen a significant overall loss of energy generation capacity due to the escalation of attacks, disrupting critical electricity, heat and water supply. The situation is particularly critical in Kharkiv city. Damage to energy facilities will significantly exacerbate the need for winter assistance when the cold months approach.  

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been working in Ukraine since 1994, alongside local authorities, NGO partners and community organizations to deliver protection and humanitarian assistance to people in need.  

What is UNHCR doing to help?

UNHCR staff are present across Ukraine and are committed to stay and deliver assistance whenever and wherever access and security allow. Our teams and partners have expanded their operations to frontline areas where the needs remain acute, as conditions allow.  

We are delivering aid and support to people forced to flee.  Inside Ukraine, the needs remain enormous, with more than 14.6 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. UNHCR is working with local and international partners to deliver cash and in-kind assistance to war-affected civilians, giving emergency shelter repair kits to those with damaged homes, carrying out housing repairs, and providing legal support and psychological counselling for those suffering the trauma of war. In 2023, UNHCR and partners have provided assistance to more than 2.5 million people in need in Ukraine, including cash assistance, legal aid and housing support. 

In neighbouring countries, the full-scale war has prompted an unparalleled outpouring of solidarity and support across states, within host communities, and among families who have opened their doors or donated time and resources to welcome refugees from Ukraine. UNHCR is leading the coordination of over 300 partner organizations, including UN agencies and national and international NGOs, as part of the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) in support of Governments’ responses. 

We remain firmly committed to protect and help all affected populations in Ukraine and countries in the region. The response of donors from both the private and public sectors, as well as the hospitality that refugees have received from neighbouring countries, is outstanding – but even more support is needed to provide people forced to flee with the assistance they need to recover from their trauma and start to rebuild their lives.  


Are you a refugee or asylum-seeker in Ukraine? Find information about your rights and available services on our HELP site.

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Are you looking for data on displacement in Ukraine? Visit the UNHCR data portal for the latest data and statistics on refugees and other displaced persons.

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Operational updates

For information on UNHCR's operational response, budgets and funding, please visit the Ukraine situation page on Global Focus.

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Are you a student or academic affected by the situation in Ukraine and looking for ways to keep studying?

Find higher education resources and initiatives here